Rethinking many aspects of our Overlanding setup and goals.

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zgfiredude

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I wasn't questioning your ability or experience, just verbalizing the types of things that a person might not consider when NOT taking your approach. Mostly for others that are reading this thread as well.

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DRAX

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I wasn't questioning your ability or experience, just verbalizing the types of things that a person might not consider when NOT taking your approach. Mostly for others that are reading this thread as well.

:wink:
For sure, I wasn't really taking it that way and was just expanding on our thought process and where we're coming from. I would caution anyone from jumping into anything like this and just winging it, especially if they're thinking about taking off for weeks or months. Personally, I love the planning and logistics involved combined with the freedom of not having a set schedule and the flexibility to adjust our general route as we see fit.

Not that doing all of this is overly complicated, there are just a lot of things to think about that someone new might not even think to ask about or look for. I sure don't know everything either, so having great folks here to talk with while I think out loud and toss ideas around is a great resource.
 
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DRAX

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Just wanted to follow up here, after quite a bit of research, reading, finding an owner's group and asking various questions, watching YouTube, etc we're pretty much set on an OGT Pando 2.0. We even like the same wrap the most. We haven't started down the road to order one yet as we're not trying to jump in ASAP. While it would be awesome to get one sooner rather than later and start getting it set up the way we want, etc, we need to get our ducks in a row first. If we're lucky then maybe come March we'll be ready to pull the trigger.

Thanks for the discussion/banter! I'll keep this thread updated as things change/progress.
 

dchurch

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My wife and I went through much of the same process. We decided to get a teardrop and are loving it! The Pando 2.0 looks like an awesome choice. We ended up going with a Meaner Bean (Utah) but the Pando was a very close 2nd for us.

The teardrop is always packed and ready to go. It does amazingly well on the trails and as base camp.
 
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Man, I need help (mentally and otherwise :P). I took a closer look at the Teton X Hybrid and it's pretty compelling. I'm not sure how I feel about them using poplar/plywood for some of the construction, the metal and composite construction of the Pando is pretty appealing. I really don't want to have to worry about small or unknown leaks leading to rot and mildew over time. Any thoughts on that? Or the Teton X (vs the Pando 2.0)?
 

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So now I'm really torn, Teton X is going to be starting production on their "Hybrid Comp" trailer which will have composite panels and no wood. They've also redesigned the pop-up roof and it will be a full pop-up instead of the tilt pop-up. Additionally, they say they're going with airbag suspension in place of the Timbren 3500HD, a Lagun table leg instead of the fixed pole, using an Ark off-road jockey wheel/jack, including a MaxxAir Deluxe with remote, Maxcoupler articulating hitch, and also including a 50Ah Battle Born lithium battery, Victron BMS, and 45Ah charge controller as standard.

Since it doesn't look like I'll be able to avoid paying $2,500 for shipping the OGT Pando 2.0 that brings the Pando 2.0 with the options we want within $3,300 of the price of the Teton X Hybrid Comp and the options we'd want. My wife still needs to give her feedback on the Teton X galley layout vs the Pando. I like the interior layout and amount of space in the Teton X better than the Pando and I feel like the Teton X storage inside is a little more flexible without blocking use of the bed.

The bummers are price (we're now into the low $40s) and production lead time of 18-20 months currently. That is really pushing it close to when we were planning on trying to hit the road in 2023.

Such a hard choice.
 

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So now I'm really torn, Teton X is going to be starting production on their "Hybrid Comp" trailer which will have composite panels and no wood. They've also redesigned the pop-up roof and it will be a full pop-up instead of the tilt pop-up. Additionally, they say they're going with airbag suspension in place of the Timbren 3500HD, a Lagun table leg instead of the fixed pole, using an Ark off-road jockey wheel/jack, including a MaxxAir Deluxe with remote, Maxcoupler articulating hitch, and also including a 50Ah Battle Born lithium battery, Victron BMS, and 45Ah charge controller as standard.

Since it doesn't look like I'll be able to avoid paying $2,500 for shipping the OGT Pando 2.0 that brings the Pando 2.0 with the options we want within $3,300 of the price of the Teton X Hybrid Comp and the options we'd want. My wife still needs to give her feedback on the Teton X galley layout vs the Pando. I like the interior layout and amount of space in the Teton X better than the Pando and I feel like the Teton X storage inside is a little more flexible without blocking use of the bed.

The bummers are price (we're now into the low $40s) and production lead time of 18-20 months currently. That is really pushing it close to when we were planning on trying to hit the road in 2023.

Such a hard choice.
sounds like a great trailer and i'm sure a good one like that will hold its value and can be sold with minimal loss if you did decide you didnt want it later. i say go buy it and have fun.
 
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sounds like a great trailer and i'm sure a good one like that will hold its value and can be sold with minimal loss if you did decide you didnt want it later. i say go buy it and have fun.
Indeed, it does sound like a pretty well-built trailer with quality components being used. I've spoken with owners of the previous Teton X Hybrid and they've said the quality and support are top notch, which is the same thing I hear about OGT and the Pando 2.0, and in talking with folks from both companies I have no reason to suspect that's not the case.

Teton X also only requires a $500 deposit to get in line and it's refundable vs OGT's non-refundable $1000 confirmation fee. The only thing that gives me pause is we keep creeping up in price, initially it was looking like we'd be around the mid $30s and now we've crossed $40k. Given that both of the trailers we're considering have nearly the same footprint there shouldn't be much difference in off-road capability or trail constraints, the Teton X actually has a better departure angle. The question is whether or not the added space in the living quarters is worth the extra cost. I'm thinking it is, and I also think that would make it have a larger selection of buyers should we ever decide to sell it. It is a specialized trailer still, just less so because of the added interior space.

The other thing that I really like about the Teton X is that the water tank and all the electronics and such are inside the box and the furnace will actually pull return air through the under-bed area where the water tank is to help prevent it from freezing when winter camping. The Pando 2.0's two tanks are less protected, the standard tank is in the cabinet of the galley with no airflow and the optional tank is mounted underneath the frame, exposed to the elements but protected with a skid plate. That makes the Pando less of a 4-season trailer.

The saving grace with the higher price is that the build delays are out far enough that we will have time to come up with the additional funds before the trailer is ready.
 
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OverlandRS

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I read through the first page and most the last page of comments so if this has been covered excuse my lack or thread research.

I am in a similar boat after 52 years in the family home I am going full time overlanding it's just me solo I don't have any family, or girlfriends "For Now" that would be interested in overlanding so my space requirements are just my tools and sports/hobby things. I have been planning this since 2010 but got derailed and had to be ceregiver for a parent with ALZ from 2010-2021. This gave me allot of time to research and dig into Youtube videos, and follow trends.

I don't have the funds to justify a new trailer and I am stuck with my BroncoSport for now unless I can find a free shop to convert my Miata into an Exocet offroad overlander. I have been looking at vintage molded fiberglass trailers. Many of these still have a full wet bath and they are small, light weight, easy to repair, and will never leak. Most use a simple perimeter frame with leaf sprung solid axle so easy to change out the axle for something with higher clearance and more travel. You'll be able to do 90% of the trails in USA with one of these and an upgraded high lift axle and/or articulating hitch. These vintage trailers are very light weight most 1000-1300 pounds or far less!! You can pick these up in online classifieds for usually less than $6000 and many of them have molded fiberglass cabinets so very little repair work is needed to make an old one servicable. Check out brands like Boler, Trillium, Casita, BigFoot, Scamp, TrailsWest/Hunter Compact, Armadillo, Oliver, Escape, Happier Camper. For me the only two choices I have is a high top or poptop van with 4x4 conversion or my existing BroncoSport and a trailer. I dont thing I can sell the BroncoSport and not be upside down on the sale and get a van.

There are several lightweight NEW trailers on the market (lots of Canadian brands) but a high percentage of these are made from plywood or wood frames with plastic or aluminum sheathing and they just don't have the life expectantcy of a molded fiberglass trailer. Remember the typical RV trailer roof will need replace every 3-5 years according the owners groups I have researched. That said I use to work in a fiberglass shop that did a ton of fiberglass boat repair and epoxy coating of wood boats anything with wood in it will eventually need to be repaired when it is exposed to water especially sea water! Some fiberglass trailers and boats have wood laminated into the fiber glass for additionally rigidity eventually this rots out and must be replaced. SCAMP & early T@B trailer owners often talk about their wood floor replacements. So do your research; also typical car camping, overlanding, backpacking gear like: cooking stoves/ovens, refrigeration/coolers, heating, and power storage distribution technologies will usually be easier to use, require less space, and be far more durable than anything that comes factory equipped in a new RV; and you can move that equipment to a new rig when the time comes.
 
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Thanks @OverlandRS, we have glanced at the Scamp and Escape trailers a little bit, in fact my wife's cousin and her husband have a Scamp but they haven't used it a whole lot as they have other project that have been taking up their time. We've done the more traditional trailer route a couple of times and for us they defeat the purpose of being out in nature because they force you inside. We enjoy being outside, including cooking. It's just really nice to be able to do everything outside and enjoy nature, it also allows for more room to move around when cooking and not being stuck inside a potentially hot trailer that becomes even hotter when cooking. It's also a bummer to have someone stuck inside cooking while someone else is relaxing outside.

Modifying a Scamp/Escape trailer for off-road duty isn't impossible but it's also not going to have the off-road clearance and ride of a proper off-road trailer with axle-less trailing arm suspension. The trailer is still going to bounce around quite a bit and I would worry about how well the wood cabinets inside would hold up over time. Add to that the long overhang in the rear making for very poor departure angle and the risk of dragging the rear or catching it on a rock and damaging the trailer becomes very real.

If someone were to plan on sticking with well-maintained fire and forest service roads then that wouldn't be a huge deal, but there are trails in Colorado that I'd have no problem taking one of the off-road trailers I've mentioned down but would have serious reservations about taking a Scamp down them even if modified.

Anyway, not to say a Scamp or similar trailer isn't for you or anyone else, it's just not for us.
 
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OverlandRS

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Noted, not what your seeking. 6" lift and by the way Scamps have axle less torsion axles.

My 1974 Hunter Compact has 18" of ground clearance and less overhang/departure angle than all the "offroad" teardrops I have looked at and measured. I could have gone higher (almost 22") but that would be much taller than my BroncoSport. I got a local trailer builder to do the axle swap for $1300.00 INSTALLED to Timbren axleless axle. I am using steel wheels and the same tires and size as my Bronco. The Axle swap was done in less than one day and they media basted the frame and repainted at no additional costs when they did the axle.

Most Scamps and several other molded fiberglass trailers have molded fiberglass cabinets that are spot bonded or bolted in but can easily be removed. I have removed all my cabinets except the dinette bases that holds the bed up and the two overhead stowes. I need to be able to haul my large rolling tool totes, bikes, and other sporting goods. I cook outside with my Coleman. I made a t-slot structure that holds my stove, a simple sink with pump pressurized water tank and 2.5 gallon collapsible grey tank, it has enough storage for all my kitchen utensils and such. Takes me 3min to pull out set up, this was actually built for my little euro hatchback years ago and works great.

I am going to have the same trailer frame builder fabricate rock sliders and a different tubular rear bumper eventually. These guys do trailers for a living so they have everything in stock work very fast and have years of experience to get it done right the first time. The Axle swap was done in less than one day and they media basted the frame and repainted at no additional costs when they did the axle.

Sadly the Hunter may have to go "Eventually" the Bronco Sport just doesn't have the right drivetrain to tow offroad even something as light weight as the Hunter. I only have $9874.00 in the Hunter I could sell it today for $12,000.
 

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@OverlandRS The Scamps have torsion axles (Likely Dexter) but they are not axle-less, at least in the pictures I've looked at. Lifting the trailer with blocks like in the video you linked doesn't add any additional ground clearance under the axle. The only increase in ground clearance comes from the larger tires. So, measuring ground clearance from the ground to the bottom of the trailer frame isn't the true ground clearance in that case. Cool that you did the Timbren conversion, I'm sure that made a big difference in ride as well as ground clearance off-road and I'm sure other owners will be glad that it can be done without much work.

As for the departure angle, I'm not sure how a 16ft Scamp or similar has equal or better departure angle compared to the off-road trailers I'm considering. Here are side views for reference. There's just no way the Scamp is close to the same even with a lift. I would be scraping the tail of the Scamp frequently. A Scamp 13 is a little better but still not as good.

I don't know about the Escape or other trailers, but the Scamp also uses plywood for the floor. That's a no-go for us as well. The trailer will be subjected to all kinds of conditions as well as various water crossings, the last thing I want to worry about is floor rot. Again, may not be an issue for you and others, but it's an absolute no for me.

Good luck with your trailer, sorry to hear the Bronco Sport struggles towing it off-road. :( Definitely a bummer. Those trailers are probably a pretty good option for others, just all depends on wants/needs. There's quite a bit to consider when taking a trailer off-road that you never have to think about when you stick to the pavement. :D

Scamp 16


Scamp 13


OGT Pando 2.0


Teton X Hybrid
 

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We've done the more traditional trailer route a couple of times and for us they defeat the purpose of being out in nature because they force you inside
now that is a very important point. our little camp trailer has the slide out stove/refer on the side and we love cooking that way...or in cases where we just take the tundra, we cook on the tailgate. we recently did a trip out west with brother-in-law and they have an R-pod camp trailer. one night we went in with them to eat and it felt so weird sitting inside and cooking and eating. it is convenient and nice in bad weather....BUT we go out and camp like we do because we actually enjoy that kind of inconvenience.
i definitely feel what you said there...
 
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OverlandRS

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I wasn't referring to any particular make or model of molded fiberglass trailer for departure angle; other then noted specs on mine. Yes Scamps have fiberglass laminated wood floors. Though I have been told the manufacturing is looking into re-tooling mods for a molded fiberglass floor. Much like Dutchman produced T@B trailers they do offer a non wood marine floor material now for Scamps.

Yes a spacer lift just like on a truck or SUV only makes it possible to have larger tires which will increase ground clearance.

My trailer has about 37" from axle center to the bottom edge of the rear door, Other versions of Hunter/TrailsWest are longer or shorter (Assuming my X-GF who has the trailer now is reading the tape measure correctly). The bottom edge of the door frame sticks out about 5 inches from the angled back of the camper shell, something we plan to modify when I do the new rear bumper and rock rails.

I have seen some of the 10-13' fiberglass trailers with under 20" from axle center to rear bumper but I was comparing to those sleep in trailers with bathrooms mentioned earlier in the post especially some of the larger Tactical units and the popups & hybrids which can have 6'+ from axle to rear bumper. Most of the A-liner and popup campers will never survive offroad the frames are prone to bending and cracking just ask @Down2Mob on you tube
I have seen Bushwacker's and 3 Feathers trailers dead on the side of the trail as well as ton of the SunRay's and ForestRiver pod trailers with busted axles that I was considering and those were not rock crawling trails like you are implying you need the capability of.

You seem like you have some skills and probably the equipment to fabricate your own trailer you certainly have been through enough models to know what doe sand doesn't work for you perhaps you should design and build your own trailer!! :). You know exactly what you want and need so no better person than yourself to build it. If you want or need some engineering help I could lend my skills, but there are many ways to skin a cat and as such build the right trailer for you. Lots of youtube articles on building custom overland trailers and camper shells for ideas on construction.

If ever build my dream trailer it will be a monocoque carbon fiber shell rubber mounted to a simple aluminum beam frame with long transverse control arms similar to Ford Twin I-Beam with adjustable shocks and poly springs.

Another option as I mentioned earlier would be a 4x4 poptop or high roof full size van. Its about the same space as a 10-13' trailer with a small or med tow vehicle.
 
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dchurch

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Man, I need help (mentally and otherwise :P). I took a closer look at the Teton X Hybrid and it's pretty compelling. I'm not sure how I feel about them using poplar/plywood for some of the construction, the metal and composite construction of the Pando is pretty appealing. I really don't want to have to worry about small or unknown leaks leading to rot and mildew over time. Any thoughts on that? Or the Teton X (vs the Pando 2.0)?
I think the Pando 2.0 is a winner. The main reason we didn't choose it was the low interior height. We camp year round and figured if we were going to tow we would like more sitting room for holding up in rough weather. We had spent 40+ years camping in various size tents and knew that we would not be happy with Pano's 46" tall interior. We have a rack and gear boxes on top of our Rover and figured we could easily tow something up to that height. If the Pando was a foot taller we might be towing one today.

We ruled out sideways slide out kitchens. We just love the rear galley design with an instant cover by the rear hatch. We are so glad we put that feature on our must have list. It has worked out great. There is no need to put on rain gear or deploy an awning just to whip up a quick breakfast on a rainy morning… And my wife and I both enjoy cooking under that cover.

We ruled out any shelter that relies on fabric. We are just burnt out on fabric leaking and wearing out over time and having to put it away wet then finding time to dry it out, mold & mildew, rodents… Some of the same reasons we decided to move away from tent camping. We looked at hard shell popups but got some funny looks when I asked about setting one up during a coastal storm. That’s another reason we wanted to move away from tent camping. We love camping in rough weather but setting up shelter in wind and pouring rain = not fun.

We looked at several rigs that honestly didn't look like they would hold up to rough conditions for very long. We ruled out poor suspension, plywood floors...

Anyway, those are some things we considered.

ps, Not sure why Teton X is using poplar it's not real stong and has poor resistance to decay. Spruce has a far better strength to weight ratio.
 
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I think the Pando 2.0 is a winner. The main reason we didn't choose it was the low interior height. We camp year round and figured if we were going to tow we would like more sitting room for holding up in rough weather. We had spent 40+ years camping in various size tents and knew that we would not be happy with Pano's 46" tall interior. We have a rack and gear boxes on top of our Rover and figured we could easily tow something up to that height. If the Pando was a foot taller we might be towing one today.

We ruled out sideways slide out kitchens. We just love the rear galley design with an instant cover by the rear hatch. We are so glad we put that feature on our must have list. It has worked out great. There is no need to put on rain gear or deploy an awning just to whip up a quick breakfast on a rainy morning… And my wife and I both enjoy cooking under that cover.

We ruled out any shelter that relies on fabric. We are just burnt out on fabric leaking and wearing out over time and having to put it away wet then finding time to dry it out, mold & mildew, rodents… Some of the same reasons we decided to move away from tent camping. We looked at hard shell popups but got some funny looks when I asked about setting one up during a coastal storm. That’s another reason we wanted to move away from tent camping. We love camping in rough weather but setting up shelter in wind and pouring rain = not fun.

We looked at several rigs that honestly didn't look like they would hold up to rough conditions for very long. We ruled out poor suspension, plywood floors...

Anyway, those are some things we considered.

ps, Not sure why Teton X is using poplar it's not real stong and has poor resistance to decay. Spruce has a far better strength to weight ratio.
My wife just got back from a backpacking trip (Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range) last night, she'd been gone for a week so we haven't been able to discuss much. You do make some good points about setup and protection without needing the awning with something like the Pando. Something else I realized is that there are no steps or fenders on the side of the Teton X to access the roof rack or solar panels easily whereas the Pando has stand-on fenders and easier roof access as a result, like if we want to put kayaks up there.

My wife also feels like the Teton X storage is too concentrated, meaning there's a good amount of storage but the main storage areas would involve stacking or packing double deep and needing to remove things to get to other things. Also, while having a table inside would be nice, we don't need it. We have a Gazelle G6 gazebo with wall panels that we put up to get away from bugs and to sit out of the rain (we currently don't have an awning) and if it's cold then we have a heater buddy we could run in the gazebo to take the edge off, so the table and open floor space of the Teton X are kind of wasted things and space. I do want to get an 180 awning at least so we do have some coverage around the door, etc, though.

So as cool as the Teton X is, we can still see more advantages with the Pando 2.0 overall. The lower price and shorter lead time for the build is just a bonus.

We haven't committed yet, but I think we've exhausted all of the other comparable units and are still going to go with the Pando.
 

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I've got a OGT Expedition 2.0 that we really love. It only limits the places we can go due to the turn radius.











The Pando is basically the same except for the kitchen location and layout. We looked at both the Exp and Pando side by side and decided that the Exp was a better setup for us. If you have any questions about the OGT trailers, I'd be happy to answer them. You can also read the various things I've done to it and where we have taken it on my site, Adventures of Etoimos.

We already had a RTT from our old JKUR build, so we put that on top of the trailer for the kids. I'd like to swap it out for a clam shell type and the Roofnest Falcon is the one I'm looking at right now (that and Alu-Cab, but it is a little more expensive).



For us the trailer setup made the most sense. It allows us to easily base camp, "trek camp", or even stay in RV campgrounds when we want to meet up with family/friends that don't camp in the wild. It also allows us to go explore without dragging camp along with us.
 
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